The Hungry Tide

The Hungry Tide

by

Amitav Ghosh

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Hungry Tide can help.

The Hungry Tide: Part 2: A Search Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
In the morning, the fog is so thick that Piya nearly trips over Kanai. He's busy writing something for Piya, so Piya makes preparations to spend the day with Fokir in his boat tracking the dolphins while Horen takes Kanai to Lusibari on the Megha. After breakfast, Kanai hands Piya a manila envelope.
The fog here is somewhat ominous in its thickness; because it deprives Piya of her sight, it suggests that there may be more that she cannot see or interpret due to a cover-up on the part of nature.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Piya finds the quiet and the familiarity of Fokir's boat comforting. She asks him for another set of oars so she can help row. After a while, Fokir stops as though they've reached their destination, so they sit quietly and watch the water. Piya takes a GPS reading. After a few hours, when no dolphins appear, Fokir looks bemused and begins to row into a smaller channel. He rows away, and Piya tracks it on her GPS system.
Piya has no real idea where Fokir is taking her; she simply has to trust that he knows where they're going. When she can read his expression, it again shows that these nonverbal forms of communication are more than enough to know what's going on.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
On the Megha, Kanai and Horen see no boats until they reach a major channel. There, there's a great deal of boat traffic, all heading inland. Horen confirms that this is unusual and after speaking to some fishermen, he returns to the front of the boat with a scowl. He says there's a storm coming, and it's possibly a cyclone. It won't arrive until tomorrow, so they have time to go back to Garjontola to find Fokir and Piya.
The mass movement of all the fishing boats makes it clear to the reader how serious this storm can be—it's unsafe for anyone to be out on the water, and all of these fishermen appear well aware of that. This reaction, in short, suggests that the fishermen are being reminded of their own vulnerability.
Themes
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Idealism and Theory vs. Practicality and Action Theme Icon
They reach the island by one o’clock in the afternoon and wait. Kanai feels as though the low tide looks especially low, and there are no dolphins in the pool despite their habit of swimming there during low tide. Horen agrees, but isn't alarmed. Kanai suggests they go look for Fokir's boat and finally, Horen agrees.
For Kanai, who's likely very concerned about Piya's safety, the lack of dolphins surely appears like a sign from the natural world that there's more amiss than just a storm. This suggests he's learning to read the landscape like Fokir.
Themes
Language Theme Icon
Man vs. Nature Theme Icon
Get the entire The Hungry Tide LitChart as a printable PDF.
The hungry tide.pdf.medium